PhD in Epidemiology and Clinical Research


The PhD program in epidemiology and clinical research will provide methodologic and interdisciplinary training that will equip students to carry out cutting-edge epidemiologic research. The program trains students in the tools of modern epidemiology, with heavy emphases on statistics, computer science, genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. We welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds.

Advisors and Mentors

The PhD program is directed by Drs. John Ioannidis and Kristin Sainani. Upon admission, each student in the PhD program will be assigned an academic advisor from the group of core faculty in epidemiology. This person will work with the student to craft an individually-tailored curriculum that meets their unique goals and interests. At a later time, the student will identify additional dissertation advisors, typically including a methodologic advisor (from the core faculty), a quantitative advisor (with expertise in statistics or computer science), and a clinical or translational advisor (in the applied research area). The methodologic, quantitative, and clinical/translational advisors will be expected to consult regularly with the student during the research and writing phases of the PhD dissertation. The advisors will monitor the student’s progress and alert the executive committee if problems arise. The executive committee will oversee advising arrangements to ensure that each student receives adequate supervision.

Examinations and Academic Milestone Assessment

In the course of the doctoral program, each student will carry out the following academic milestones to complete the core courses and elective coursework

  • Pass the Preliminary Examination
  • Identify a dissertation project
  • Form a Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee
  • Develop a detailed NIH-style dissertation proposal
  • Complete the Qualifying Examination
  • Conduct the dissertation research project(s)
  • Write the dissertation
  • Present dissertation results in a public seminar
  • Pass the Final Examination (defense of dissertation)
  • Complete and turn in the dissertation